Apple Watch sales aren’t doing so hot — but CEO Tim Cook’s not worried

CEO Tim Cook optimistic about Apple Watch despite reported decline in sales

Apple Watch Series 2
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
The Apple Watch may be the most successful smartwatch ever, but according to a recent report, even it may not be enough to captivate the hearts of consumers. While the Apple Watch continued to be the best-selling smartwatch, sales are predicted to be down 71 percent in the third quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, according to market research firm International Data Corporation. In raw numbers, Apple Watch sales sit at 1.1 million for the quarter.

The reason for the decline may be that the wearable market seems to continue to be dominated by cheaper fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit, Xiaomi, and other companies. The news is especially problematic for Apple, considering that the third quarter of 2016 is when the company launched the Apple Watch Series 2.

Apple, however, now has something to say about the IDC report. In an email to Reuters, CEO Tim Cook noted that the number of units sold to consumers has hit an all-time high. “Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook wrote. “Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,” he continued.

The executive didn’t provide any specific numbers when it came to Apple Watch sales.

It’s possible that many Apple Watch customers were waiting for the new Series 2 model to be released and could not get their hands on it until the fourth quarter due to stock issues, but whatever the reason, a 70 percent drop is not good news for Apple. It’s also possible that many consumers didn’t see the Apple Watch Series 2 as enough of an upgrade — the device keeps the same design and really only adds GPS and waterproofing as far as new features go.

Apple doesn’t officially report Apple Watch sales numbers, so for now, all we have are estimates. Apple does report sales to investors through an “Other Products” business category, which includes the Apple Watch, iPods, Beats headphones, and more.

Apple is likely hoping that the upcoming holiday season will bring in big sales, but if this report is any indication,n Apple could have a serious issue on its hands. Or, um, wrists.

Article originally published on 12-5-2016. Updated on 12-6-2016 by Lulu Chang: Added Apple CEO Tim Cook’s response to IDC report.

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